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The Top 50 Most Innovative Brands — According to Consumers

Elizabeth Christenson
Editor, Retail Leader Pro
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Pro Tip: As consumers embrace newer and more matrixed lifestyles in a post-pandemic world, brands that center around wellness, entertainment and experiences are clear winners. (Click here to jump to the full RL Pro Analyst Take below.)

Consumers' expectations drive innovation — a notion that serves as the foundation of the 2022 Most Innovative Brands ranking, which recognizes 50 innovators based entirely on the consumer’s perspective. Conducted byNew York-based Brand Keys, the 11th-annual survey asked 7,420 consumers (50:50 male/female, age 16 to 65 years old) to identify the companies and brands they saw as the biggest innovators of 2022. The 50 leading brands fell into eight industry sectors: consumer goods, entertainment, food, healthcare, social networking, software, technology and transportation. Brands within each category are ranked according to how consumers rated their ability to meet their innovation expectations. 

“Tracking the consumer perspective is the most accurate measure of which brands are innovating,” says Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys. “First, it obviates the effects of large-scale corporate public relations, and separates the ‘talk’ from the ‘walk.’ Tracking the consumer perspective democratizes the actual measurement of innovation effects. Second, it’s a presentation of the real-life, consumer perspective. After all, who is it that actually buys ‘new’ products and services? Finally, these days consumers speak to each other before they listen to or buy a brand. Tracking the consumer perspective of innovation is an absolutely accurate answer to the questions, ‘Whom do you trust?’ and ‘What are you going to buy?’"

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